Polaris Charter Academy

Polaris Local Wellness Policy

Polaris Charter Academy

Local Wellness Policy

Established July 2011, Updated February 2019

 

Local Wellness Policy

Background

Federal Public Law 108.265 Section 204 (the federal Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004) includes a provision requiring all school districts participating in any federally funded child nutrition program to establish a local developed school wellness policy by the beginning of the 2006-2007 school year.

 

The federal law requires that, at minimum, the local school wellness policy include

  • Involvement of parents, students, representatives of school food service, the school board, school administrators and the community in the development of the school wellness policy.
  • Goals for nutrition education, physical activity, and other school-based activities designed to promote student wellness
  • Nutrition guidelines for all food available on each school campus during the school day.
  • Assurance that guidelines for reimbursable meals will not be less restrictive than federal regulations and guidance issues by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
  • A plan for measuring the implementation of the local wellness policy and designation of one or more persons in the district or at each school to oversee the implementation of the adopted wellness policy.

 

The mission of Polaris Charter Academy

The mission of Polaris Charter Academy is to educate students to be self-motivated, creative, critical thinkers with the ultimate goal of shaping life-long learners with a strong sense of personal and civic responsibility.

 

This mission includes a belief in shaping student to be effective learners and ethical people who care about their personal well-being while contributing to a better world.  Polaris is dedicated to promoting healthy choices for the minds and bodies of all members of the Polaris community in order to achieve the schools’ mission.

 

Requirement I: Involvement of parents, students, representatives of school food service, the school board, school administrators and the community in the development of the school wellness policy.

 

  • Polaris Charter Academy will recruit and retain a variety of divers stakeholder on its Health and Wellness Committee Created in August of 2006
  • In addition to the wellness policy, Namaste’s health and wellness committee will create yearly goals to continually increase its health and wellness status
  • Polaris Charter Academy’s Director of Community Engagement will oversee implementation of health and wellness initiatives on an annual basis.

 

Requirement II:  Establish goals for nutrition education, physical activity, and other school-based activities designed to promote student wellness

Polaris Charter Academy takes a positive pro-active approach to impacting students’ health, physical fitness and school environment.

Nutrition Education

  • Nutrition education will be integrated into subject areas through learning expeditions.
  • Primary grades will have additional nutrition education through partnership with Purple Asparagus
  • Polaris Charter Academy will host an annual health and wellness night which will include family cooking classes that provide healthy recipes
  • Polaris will use its raised garden beds as learning labs to include hands on gardening experiences for students
  • Polaris Charter Academy students will adhere to the schools’ healthy eating policy when bringing lunch and snacks from home
  • All school snacks must come from the approved school snack list or approved by the Head of School

 

Physical Education and Activity

  • All Polaris Charter Academy students will participate in weekly physical education classes with an emphasis on developing health related fitness, physical competence, and cognitive understanding about physical activity.
  • Modifications will be made for students with physical or other limitations, but all students will be required to participate in physical education.

Recess

  • All Polaris Charter Academy students will participate in 30 minutes of recess daily
  • Polaris Charter Academy will train teaching assistants who monitor recess in leading a variety of physical activities for children to partake in.
  • Recess will not be used as a reward or punishment for behavior

Mental Health

  • Polaris Charter Academy students and staff will implement daily Mindfulness practices to assist in teaching self-regulation practices.
  • Polaris Charter Academy will staff at least one full time social worker to support students who may need additional in school mental health supports in order to be successful in the academic setting.
  • Polaris Charter Academic will implement responsive classroom strategies to support students in becoming self-disciplined as they learn strategies for dealing with conflict and aggression.

Requirement III: Nutrition guidelines for all food available on each school campus during the school day.

Polaris Charter Academy students who bring lunch from home

  • Students who bring lunch from home must follow the Polaris Charter Academy nutrition guidelines outlined in the Polaris Family handbook.
  • A list of prohibited food items is maintained in the Polaris Family handbook and distributed to all families at the beginning of each school year.
  • Students who bring lunches which do not meet the Polaris Charter Academy guidelines will be required to exchange their lunch for a school lunch at no cost to the student

School Snacks

  • All snacks in the school must either be listed on the healthy snack list or be approved by the Head of School
  • Polaris Charter Academy will provide ample opportunities for students to drink water throughout the school.

Fundraising

  • Polaris Charter Academy student, club and parent fundraising initiatives will not include selling unhealthy food items during the school day.
  • Any fundraisers that include the sale of food items must be approved by the school’s health and wellness committee.

Celebrations and School Sponsored Events

  • Polaris Charter Academy classroom celebrations will not regularly include food items.
  • Celebrations involving food will happen after the last lunch period and must be approved by the Head of School.
  • School sponsored events will follow the Polaris Charter Academy healthy eating guidelines unless otherwise approved.

Vending

  • Polaris Charter Academy will not promote vending in school

Parent Programming

  • All Polaris parent programming will feature food that meets the school’s nutrition guidelines
  • Polaris will make every effort to educate parents on the importance of living a healthy lifestyle through health and wellness nights, and family cooking nights.

Requirement IV: Assurance that guidelines for reimbursable meals will not be less restrictive than federal regulations and guidance issues by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Procedures

  • Polaris Charter Academy will ensure compliance with the USDA regulations for the National School Lunch and Breakfast program
  • Polaris Charter Academy will ensure that all students have a yearly lunch application on file, regardless of status

Food and Drink

  • All school meals will meet or exceed nutrition requirements established by local, state and federal requirements
  • All food and drink served through the National School Lunch Program will meet Polaris Charter Academy food policy, or be making strides to meet the food policy.
  • All food served by Polaris Charter Academy will model healthy choices that students should make outside of school. The school’s menu will feature healthy, culturally relevant options and not attempt to “hide” healthy foods but rather continue to introduce differentiated healthy choices to students and promote consumption.

Lunchroom Procedures and Environment

  • Students will have a 30-minute lunch period
  • Lunch will be served between the hours of 10:30 and 1:30
  • Students will wash their hands before entering the dining room

Participation

  • Polaris Charter Academy will encourage participation in the breakfast and lunch programs through early opening hours, friendly and helpful lunchroom staff and annual family meetings
  • Polaris Charter Academy will host tastings each year to encourage students to eat in the dining room.

Requirement V: A plan for measuring the implementation of the local wellness policy and designation of one or more persons in the district or at each school to oversee the implementation of the adopted wellness policy.

Data Collection and Monitoring

  • Polaris Charter Academy will conduct annual fitness assessments as a part of gym class.
  • Polaris Charter Academy will conduct student food surveys and collect lunchroom data to inform menu decisions
  • The Polaris Charter Academy’s health and wellness committee will analyze survey results and data to set yearly goals.

 

 

 

Where Learning Has No Boundaries.
Polaris Local Wellness Policy